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Re: <nettime> alex van der bellen wins austrian presidentials!!!
Brian Holmes on Thu, 26 May 2016 08:41:03 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> alex van der bellen wins austrian presidentials!!!

On 05/24/2016 11:29 PM, Alex Foti wrote:

    Wow, Brian, comparative analysis of euroamerican middle classes and the
    populist left!

More like a provocation to make people think on their feet!

    according to laclau-chantalmouffe (from what I learned from Paolo
    Gerbaudo, check out his upcoming book) the people is constructed around
    a signifier (the wronged citizenry, the exploited precariat, the
    oppressed minority etc) counterposed to elite, oligarchy, caste etc.

Laclau's formula should not become a holy grail: society is so much more varied and complex. The trick would be to evoke populist enthusiasm and channel it beyond itself, into more finely grained efforts to fix this multiple spaghetti-western mess we're all in.

    totally agree that progressive populism must ditch marxist ideology if
    it wants to represent the precarized middle. more problematic is
    whether old socialists like sanders and corbyn can effectively embody
    the new demands for radical democracy that have emerged since 2008 and
    2011. personally, i'm a bit skeptical, but this is not the issue here.

Ditto on the skepticality. Under current conditions, with a Tea Party congress, Sanders would get less done than Obama, read: almost nothing. But the interesting thing is that his campaign has proven the possibility of end running around the Democratic party, both inside and out of it. Check this new campaign, launched by his staffers and volunteers and designed to function in the absence of a Sanders win (as well as in the unlikely case of one of course):


    we badly need a european convergence progressive populist forces - for
    liberty against oligarchy, for equality against oligopoly, for a future
    after fossil capitalism - problem is the people has so far always been
    constituted at the level of the nation. how can an internationalist
    populism be devised, one that transcends borders marked by wars and
    dynasties in the EU?

The very rise of the national-fascist spectre sets the stage. It has to be Europeans for Another Europe - a continent that doesn't just abandon people like sinking ship! What's missing is developmentalist audacity, greased by modern money made out of thin air. The big breakthrough should come right from where the potential and the problem is: Germany. The ordoliberal vice-grip prevents Northern European capital from flowing down to the South and across EU borders, into developmental programs for a prosperous zero-carbon future. German companies can build those infrastructures, German youth can share those jobs and fulfill their ideals for a good career. It's not about giving anything away, it's not about wasting anything at all, it's about usefully circulating constructive capital for a strong, civilizing Europe that can push back barbarism with bounty. There is no richer nor more culturally advanced place on earth than Europe. Europeans have to reclaim a little future! Germans have to take the lead on that one! Fuck Brexit, Keynes was from Britain! Get rid of the gerontocracy! Teach the banks how to build something useful! It sure would be a lot more encouraging to flourish with hundreds of millions of friends than to sink into nationalist nightmares that no one wants to relive or even agonize about.

What I'm sayin' is: Populism isn't just for the poor or some ancient caricature of the proles and the people. It's really about a possible future for everyone.

    best ciaos and viva vienna and graz

Wildly speculating but why not? BH

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